Changing Employers? Things To Know Before You Go.

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It’s that time in my life again where I am about to start a new job at another employer.  I have less than two weeks left at my current job and it’s not going to be easy saying goodbye to all the great people I’ve been working with.

Whether you’re new to the workforce or are a seasoned veteran, the notion of starting a new job is quite exciting and you just want to tell the world!  For those of us who are about to leave our job for another, keep the following things in mind.

Say Goodbye, the Right Way.  Most people say their goodbyes to coworkers on the last day of the job.  That is actually a bad idea.  While there is no obligation to tell others you are leaving, it’s the right thing to do.  There’s still a laundry list of things to do before you leave.  One of the most important items is to not just give a proper good bye, but also to transition your work to someone else.

  1. Submit a formal letter of resignation.  It’s customary to submit one to your immediate manager two weeks leading to your last day with the company.  Keep the contents of the letter cordial.  If your experience working at the company hasn’t been the greatest, just keep it simple with your date of resignation and that you will work on a transition plan.  This isn’t a letter for you to voice your criticisms about the company and other employees…or throw it in your manager’s face while shouting, “I quit!”
  2. Prepare a transition plan with your manager and whoever is going to be taking over your work.  Be sure to observe how excited your coworkers will be when you dump your work on them.
  3. Read the fine print on bonus payouts.  Depending on the company’s bonus season, you may be forfeiting a bonus if you decide to leave before the payout date.
  4. See if the company will pay you for unused vacation.  If they don’t and you have vacation days left, try to  take some time off.
  5. Spend the beginning of your last week working on your goodbye email and who you want to send it to.  You most likely will  not be able to list out all the names in one sitting, but surely as the days pass, the list of names will grow.  Don’t do it last minute because you may miss notifying some people.  Walking out the door and then remembering that you left someone out in the goodbye email is a bad feeling.  Be nice in the email and give your personal contact information if you want, otherwise, telling them to connect with you on a professional social networking site is fine.
  6. Say goodbye to those who you have close working relationships in person, because it matters.  Don’t’ wait until your last day to do so because some may not be in the office.  Who knows, some may even want to take you out to lunch before you leave.

You Can Take This Job, and Love It!  I’ve seen coworkers leave, and only to comeback after a short time.  The lesson learned here is, maintain those relationships when you leave one job for another.  Keep it cordial, which means don’t bad mouth the team or company during the exit interview.  Don’t go to your manager and tell him or her to shove it up their behinds.  Thank everyone you have worked with via email and provide them your contact information.

There are those however, after having secured a position with a new employer, who seem to relish in the moment of telling people off and speaking their mind on the last day of the job.    Despite how horrible your current job is, never burn bridges because it may come back to haunt you, especially if you work in a specialized industry.  What you’re doing is that you are severing all professional ties with people you have worked with in the past, and that’s usually a bad idea because it’s a small world.

Instead of going down the fiery path, work at maintaining the professional relationships that you have established.  Leave with a smile on your face even though you didn’t like it there.  Former coworkers are excellent networking opportunities and sources of job advice.

Finish Strong.  It’s only natural to have the “Case of the Mondays” every day until the last day of work.  It’s senioritis of the corporate world and while it may be easy to just use the final days at work to slack off, try your best not to.  You want to finish strong and not leave your coworkers hanging if your work is being transitioned to them.

Congratulations on the new job and good luck!

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